Falher covers shortfall

Support requested for regional medical facility

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Falher town council is encouraging more funding support for the Falher Medical Clinic.

At its regular meeting Jan. 11, council agreed to cover a shortfall of $12,980 in a budget to support the clinic, owned by Falher and Area Community Association of Professional Services [CAPS], a non-profit organization that started the clinic.

“It’s not only for Falher, it’s for the region,” Mayor Donna Buchinski says.

CAPS requested administrative funding for six months from neighbouring municipalities to cover expenses to maintain the building.

However not all councils supported the request.

As a result, Falher council also passed a motion to direct CAPS to document information about the communities where patients reside to determine that the facility is a regional clinic.

Funding from Falher will come out of reserves to cover such expenses as utilities.

“Our council feels that this is an essential service for the region,” CAO James Bell says.

The M.D. of Smoky River contributed, the Village of Donnelly committed to a portion of the funding requested while the Town of McLennan and the Village of Girouxville decided not to contribute, he says.

Bell notes the Falher clinic is owned and managed by a non-profit organization while the Associate Medical Clinic is privately owned.

Falher Medical Clinic welcomed Stephanie Barker as a Nurse Practitioner starting Jan. 11.

Barker is able to provide various services, including prescriptions, driver’s medicals, WCB management, chronic disease management (hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and others), order diagnostic and laboratory tests and referrals, if necessary.

The position was created while CAPS waits for a physician to practise in the regional clinic.

Buchinski appreciates the provincial government’s Nurse Practitioner program.

“The UCP promotes Nurse Practitioners,” Bushinski says.

She suggests council write a letter to Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Central Peace – Notley MLA Todd Loewen to get more support for the Nurse Practitioners.

No motion was made to send the letters.

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